Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap Plans, help to cover some or all of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Having a Medicare Supplement policy will typically provide you with the maximum flexibility in provider choice. With a Medicare Supplement, you can see any provider that accepts Medicare and is accepting patients. There are no Networks or other issues to worry about.
How much of the costs are covered really depends on which Medigap plan that you purchase. There are Medicare Supplement Plans A-N, and all have different coverage. If you are on Original Medicare, then I believe that it is important to have a Medigap Plan in place. If you do not buy a Medicare Supplement Plan, you are putting yourself at some financial risk. If you do not purchase a Medigap policy, you will likely have to pay out-of-pocket for all of the costs of the deductibles and co-pays of Medicare.
Medicare Supplement plans are standardized by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (a.k.a.: CMS), so once you decide on the right plan for you, you can easily compare plans from various Insurance Companies. Insurance Companies selling the same Medigap plan can charge very different premiums. Remember, it pays to compare! You can call every company yourself and find out their current rates, or you can find an Independent Insurance Agent who will be able to tell you which plans are the best value for you. The Insurance Companies do change their rates on plans, as their costs go up, so it pays to have an agent you are working with to get you the lowest rate. Given the fact that a Plan F Medicare Supplement from one company covers exactly what another companies Plan F will cover, it pays to shop around for the lowest rate. Some companies do have some extra benefits with their Medicare Supplement plans, but they are typically just bells and whistles. Some of the bells and whistles are nice. They may include:
- 24 hour nurse hotlines
- certain discounts for various items
- Even a basic gym membership, at no additional cost
Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medicare Supplement Plan F seems to be the most popular Medigap Plan available today. There are some good reasons to have a Medicare Supplement Plan F. The Plan F covers all your Medicare deductibles and co pays for anything that Original Medicare considers allowable charges. This makes having Medicare very easy and predictable.
If you get the Plan F Medicare Supplement, then you will only have the following expenses for most services:
- Your Part B Premium
- Your Medicare Supplement Plan F Premium
- Your Premium for your Part D Rx Plan
- Any copays and deductibles for your Part D Rx Plan
You still need to have a Part D Rx Plan, but most of your medical costs will be paid for with the first 2 above premiums. If you would like to find out which Plan F has the lowest premium and good service for you, please give me a call.
Medicare Supplement Plan N
Medicare Supplement Plan N is becoming another very popular choice with people new to Medicare Plans. The Medicare Plan N costs less then the Plan F, and can be a good alternative to a Medicare Advantage Plan. The Plan N is a like a hybrid plan that covers most services, but there are co pays and deductibles that you will need to pay.
The largest costs to consider with the Medicare Plan N are as follows:
- $20 co-payment for some doctor office visits
- $50 co-payment for Emergency Room visits (not if you are admitted as an in-patient)
- Your annual Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges (some doctors may charge up to 15% over what Medicare allows)
If you think the Medicare Plan N might be a good fit, please feel free to call and find out more about your options.